Raider fans and players approve of No. 1 pick

SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. - More than 400 Oakland Raiders fans crowded into Ricky's Sports Lounge in San Leandro, Calif., Saturday to celebrate the NFL Draft.

Several Raider players were in attendance for the event, including Chad Slaughter, ReShard Lee, Alvis Whitted, Terdell Sands, Anttaj Hawthorne and Stuart Schweigert.

After hearing the 9:22 a.m. decision to take Louisiana State University quarterback JaMarcus Russell as the Raiders No. 1 pick, the crowd erupted and the high-fives were happening everywhere.

"I'm cautiously optimistic," said Pete Giovanetti, member of the Carson City Raiders Booster Club.

"We don't have a good team yet, but, if we go 6-10, that's a huge improvement.

"JaMarcus Russell has raw talent and if it's developed in the right way, it will work."

"I look forward to working on the field with Russell," Whitted said. Whitted came to the Oakland Raiders in 2002 acquired as a free agent from Jacksonville.

"He's solid."

Making his own mark with the team and fans is safety Stuart Schweigert, who was picked up in the 2004 draft in the third round.

"JaMarcus, he's big," Schweigert said. "I'm excited. I think this is going to be a good year for the Raiders. I'm looking forward to it."


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